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Exhibit Featuring 20 Red Punching Bags Opens At LA Art Show

Jan 11, 2018
Originally published on January 11, 2018 6:11 am
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RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:

All right, here's some art that you might enjoy if the news sometimes makes you want to punch something. At the LA art show in downtown Los Angeles right now, 20 red punching bags hang in the gallery. It's part of an interactive piece of conceptual political art. Each bag bears the face of a controversial world leader. Visitors are encouraged to punch them. NPR's Neda Ulaby stopped by.

NEDA ULABY, BYLINE: Excuse me, sir. Who did you punch just now?

UNIDENTIFIED MAN: Kim Jong whatever.

ULABY: You can punch people like Kim Jong Un or Fidel Castro. The artist grew up in Cuba. Antuane Rodriguez says he learned to distrust politicians as a young child. The name of the work, "Left Or Right," is both boxing and a political pun. Though, Rodriguez says it's supposed to be healing.

How is punching someone in the face healing?

ANTUANE RODRIGUEZ: It's healthy for your body.

ULABY: Healthy says, Rodriguez, because listening to the news is stressful, and it demands psychic release. Because we're at an art show in California, it's no surprise our current president is the most popular face to punch.

JEFF CRANDALL: Whoa (ph). Sorry (laughter).

ULABY: Visitor Jeff Crandall had a few bouts with the bags. And afterwards, he said it was a little healing.

CRANDALL: I feel purged (laughter). I feel so much more calm.

ULABY: And ready for yet another round in the ring we call the news cycle. Neda Ulaby, NPR News.

(SOUNDBITE OF RJD2'S "DISCONNECTED") Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.